#MKRSA: Fight Food Waste

Fight food waste from home.

10 September 2018

The latest episode of My Kitchen Rules SA challenged the contestants to cook consciously – encouraging them to be both water- and waste-wise. Teams performed admirably as far as water was concerned – hopefully Cape Town’s drought has made us all a lot more conscious and a lot more grateful for our water – but there was room for improvement when it came to waste management.

Fighting food waste is a hot topic, and for good reason. According to WWF South Africa, a third of our country’s food is never consumed and lands in rubbish dumps. Food waste creates carbon dioxide and methane gas – two greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change.

In the words of the late, great chef Anthony Bourdain, “use everything, waste nothing”. And conscious cooking doesn’t have to be a challenge. It’s all about being creative and making the most of your ingredients – just look at how far Kim and Pashi took sweetcorn for the Sudden Death dessert that kept them in the kitchen.

Besides making one ingredient “the hero of the dish” there’s plenty more you can do right at home to fight food waste. Here are a few ideas.

Make Banana Bread

In another bid to be more health-conscious, you start the week by purchasing bunches of bananas. By the end of the week you’ve indulged in one too many takeout meals and your forgotten fruit is yellow no more. Don’t chuck them out! Overripe bananas are perfect for making banana bread.

1536323159 33 baked blur bread 830894

Make Smoothies, Sauces, and Jam

You don’t need to stop at bread. Overripe bananas – and other fruit like strawberries and apricots – work well in making smoothies, sauces and jams.

1536323531 33 mkrsa jam

Start a Compost Heap

A compost heap is a great destination for food waste. Don’t stop at overripe fruit. You can also chuck in eggshells, coffee grounds, and rice. Bear in mind that some things can’t be chucked in, such as meat, fish, and onions.

1536324310 33 mkrsa compost

Be Prepared

Set aside time every week or month to plan and prepare your meals in advance. Freeze them and take them out as and when needed. You’ll make much better use of the ingredients in your fridge, save time because you won’t have to cook every night, save money because you won’t be chucking out food you forgot about, and help save the planet by keeping food waste out of landfills.

1536326054 33 mkrsa meal plan

Don’t Overstock

Never shop hungry. You’re more likely to purchase items you don’t need. Don’t be duped by two for one specials. They’re great if you know you’ll use everything you buy, but if you’re buying them for the sake of cheap prices instead of necessity you’ll probably just find it turned into mush a week or two down the line. And in the words of chef and MKRSA judge David Higgs: “We always have to keep in mind the amount of people we’re cooking for.”

1536326358 33 mkrsa overstock

Got any great tips and ideas to fight food waste? Share them on social media using #MKRSA.

Check out tips on being water-wise from David and J’Something in the video below.

My Kitchen Rules SA is broadcast on M-Net channel 101 every Sunday night at 18:00.

Viewers can watch exclusive interviews with the judges and contestants here.

Follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @MNet / #MKRSA or on the official M-Net Facebook page.